Tulkinghorn: Buffalo lawyer

It’s nothing new to hear about a top corporate lawyer making sacrifices to climb the greasy pole.

But it’s rare indeed to find one who gave up a burgeoning career as a reggae DJ in order to burn the midnight oil for his fat-cat clients.

So step forward recently anointed Hottie Patrick Sarch of Clifford Chance.

The man who advised Kraft on its Cadbury takeover used to spend his summers in Jamaica ­playing choice dubplates for the dancehall massive.

Tulkinghorn can only speculate on what Sarch’s favourite tunes are, but surely they must include Bob Marley’s Chant Down Babylon and, of course, Horace Andy’s Money Money (aka Root
of all Evil).

The Sarchster even once had Kiss FM founder and Notting Hill Carnival ­institution Norman Jay as well as Norman Cook aka Fat Boy Slim quizzing him over an obscure seven-inch he once spun.

“The tune was an instrumental of Tempo Riddim on the back of a Tenor Saw seven-inch,” he informed one of Tulkinghorn’s spies.

Strangely, this is the exact tune Mrs Tulkinghorn favours as she skanks round the house while doing the hoovering.
In denial

“Good afternoon, Squire Sanders & Dempsey.”

Clearly recent events had yet to make it to the firm’s London office front desk when one of Tulkinghorn’s spies rang last week.

Ever heard of Hammonds? Apparently it’s a firm in the UK. Or it was.

Called at the bar?

What’s in a name?

Apparently, some barristers are easily confused when it comes to new staff members.

Take Fountain Court, for instance. On his first stint in chambers as a junior clerk, Mark ’Alex’ Taylor was told to change his name to prevent him being confused with senior clerk Mark Watson. Henceforth he was known as John.

He left in 1994 for Old Square Chambers, but on his return to Fountain Court in 2008 chambers had already acquired a barrister called John Taylor, so Mark/John became Alex. Still following?

Now, many other chambers have changed their stance on renaming clerks, but Fountain Court wants to keep at least one tradition in place.

So when it hired Outer Temple senior clerk Chris Gittings in January, he was also asked to find another name. Gittings has now unveiled his new persona – Richard.

Shooting from the hip

Tulkinghorn prides himself on his worldliness and ability to adapt to local customs. But he questions whether such a premium is placed on ’fitting in’ among foreign lawyers operating in Albion.

Take Watson Farley & Williams international arbitration partner Olga Baglay. A talented and charming lawyer. But her tendency to call a spade a spade jars at times with the English proclivity for evasion.

For example, at this month’s Hot 100 party she marched up to Jonathan Blake, senior partner at embattled SJ Berwin. Rather than doing what any self-respecting Brit would do when faced with a leader of a firm that’s lost a slew of lawyers recently – ie talk about the weather – she chose to go for the jugular.

“Ah, Jonathan,” Baglay began, sounding not unlike one of James Bond’s deadliest foes Xenia Onatopp, “you’re from SJ Berwin. You’ve had many partners leave you recently, haven’t you? How are you coping?”

Cue coughing and rustling of Hot 100 supplements from embarrassed guests.

Baglay then also took the notion of a ’photo shoot’ all too literally by suggesting that next year’s Hot 100 pic session should see all of the participants wielding guns.

“I went pheasant shooting lately and shot six or seven in a row,” trilled Baglay/Xenia Onatopp. “A pheasant shoot would be a perfect location.”

A woman after Tulkinghorn’s own heart.